Comparing Radiologist Performance in Diagnosing Clinically Significant Prostate Cancer with Multiparametric versus Hybrid Multidimensional MRI

Radiology. 2022 Nov;305(2):399-407. doi: 10.1148/radiol.211895. Epub 2022 Jul 26.


Background Variability of acquisition and interpretation of prostate multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) persists despite implementation of the Prostate Imaging Reporting and Data System (PI-RADS) version 2.1 due to the range of reader experience and subjectivity of lesion characterization. A quantitative method, hybrid multidimensional MRI (HM-MRI), may introduce objectivity. Purpose To compare performance, interobserver agreement, and interpretation time of radiologists using mpMRI versus HM-MRI to diagnose clinically significant prostate cancer. Materials and Methods In this retrospective analysis, men with prostatectomy or MRI-fused transrectal US biopsy-confirmed prostate cancer underwent mpMRI (triplanar T2-weighted, diffusion-weighted, and dynamic contrast-enhanced imaging) and HM-MRI (with multiple echo times and b value combinations) from August 2012 to February 2020. Four readers with 1-20 years of experience interpreted mpMRI and HM-MRI examinations independently, with a 4-week washout period between interpretations. PI-RADS score, lesion location, and interpretation time were recorded. mpMRI and HM-MRI interpretation time, interobserver agreement (Cronbach alpha), and performance of area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) analysis were compared for each radiologist with use of bootstrap analysis. Results Sixty-one men (mean age, 61 years ± 8 [SD]) were evaluated. Per-patient AUC was higher for HM-MRI for reader 4 compared with mpMRI (AUCs for readers 1-4: 0.61, 0.71, 0.59, and 0.64 vs 0.66, 0.60, 0.50, and 0.46; P = .57, .20, .32, and .04, respectively). Per-patient specificity was higher for HM-MRI for readers 2-4 compared with mpMRI (specificity for readers 1-4: 48%, 78%, 48%, and 46% vs 37%, 26%, 0%, and 7%; P = .34, P < .001, P < .001, and P < .001, respectively). Diagnostic performance improved for the reader least experienced with HM-MRI, reader 4 (AUC, 0.64 vs 0.46; P = .04). HM-MRI interobserver agreement (Cronbach alpha = 0.88 [95% CI: 0.82, 0.92]) was higher than that of mpMRI (Cronbach alpha = 0.26 [95% CI: 0.10, 0.52]; α > .60 indicates reliability; P = .03). HM-MRI mean interpretation time (73 seconds ± 43 [SD]) was shorter than that of mpMRI (254 seconds ± 133; P = .03). Conclusion Radiologists had similar or improved diagnostic performance, higher interobserver agreement, and lower interpretation time for clinically significant prostate cancer with hybrid multidimensional MRI than multiparametric MRI. © RSNA, 2022 Online supplemental material is available for this article. See also the editorial by Turkbey in this issue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Radiologists
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies